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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1658397, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Anti-TNF-Alpha-Adalimumab Therapy Had Time Lag of Improvement in Synovial Hypertrophy Compared to Rapid Response in Power Doppler Synovial Vascularity

Department of Rheumatology, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung 833, Taiwan

Correspondence should be addressed to Ying-Chou Chen

Received 21 January 2017; Revised 16 June 2017; Accepted 6 July 2017; Published 6 September 2017

Academic Editor: Mónica Vázquez-Del Mercado

Copyright © 2017 Ying-Chou Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. The quantification of synovitis is of great significance for follow-up in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study aimed to validate the use of power Doppler ultrasonography (PDUS) for evaluating synovial vascularity and synovial hypertrophy for synovitis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with adalimumab. Materials and Methods. The synovial disease activity and vascularity of RA on both wrists (radio-carpal joint) were assessed using GS and PDUS to derive the composite US scores based on abnormal counts and severity. The relationship between each measure was determined. Results. The 71 patients who received adalimumab therapy had significantly decreased DAS28, ESR, and CRP. After one month, PD score decreased and then remained low for 12 months. Synovial hypertrophy did not change until 3–6 months after, when it started to improve (). By multivariate analysis, sex, age, BMI, and DAS28 did not lead to any difference between synovial hypertrophy and PDUS changes (). Discussion. Composite US markers of synovial hypertrophy correlate significantly to the DAS28 score and ESR/CRP in adult RA. The time needed for synovial hypertrophy to decrease may be up to 3–6 months after adalimumab therapy. Switching to biological therapy before 3–6 months is inappropriate and ineffective.